In the 1960’s, the earliest members of the Baby Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, were coming of age. The Gen X generation, born 1965 through 1980, was coming into being. The advent of cable television made it possible for the first time for Americans to witness Presidential and political assassinations, civil rights and antiwar protests, the Beatles, soldiers coming home in body bags, and men walking on the Moon – all from the comfort of their living rooms.
Baby Boomers, often referred to as the “Me Generation,” embraced the right to self-actualization and fulfillment over the ethic of social responsibility ingrained in their parents’ generation. A national spotlight focused on what came to be known as “The Generation Gap,” which forever emblazoned on our culture the vast differences between this generation and the previous one.
Generation Gap 2.0
Realizing their aging Boomer parents and grandparents now need their help in planning their next chapters, Gen X’ers and Millennials are rising to the caregiver challenge with tech-saavy resourcefulness which has defined their generations. They know how to research and rally knowledgeable resources, present the range of options available, and make important decisions as a budding caregiver – all with a laptop or mobile device, from the comfort of their living rooms.
A New Kind of Conversation – a Polar Shift
The magnetic poles of the family shift when the child becomes the caregiver for the parent. Whether the approach is gradual, with awareness of increasing memory lapses over time, or as abrupt as the onset of a stroke. When the moment does come, it is definitive, and demands a loving, thoughtful response.
- Try to initiate a dialogue about what the parent wants for the next stage of life before a crisis occurs.
- Plan to conduct it over time in manageable chunks so no one has to feel pressured or overwhelmed.
- Try to gain a better understanding of their likes, dislikes, fears about the future, places they would like to live, what kind of social circle they’d like to maintain, what independence does or does not mean to them.
- Have open, honest conversations about finances, long-term care and end-of-life decisions.
All of those help establish criteria for the types of Senior Living options available to them. As the dialogue unfolds in stages, explore available resources, understand options and obligations involved. As you began to transition into a caregiver role, a very good place to start this exploration is the Bridge to Better Living website.
When you’re ready, contact a Bridge to Better Living Consultant. They help navigate the range of local services and living communities, and provide referrals to appropriate legal and financial advisors if needed, and give you time to support your Senior loved one in other areas.
Bridge to Better Living is committed to placement with passion, and to providing caring, qualified support for families embarking on this significant journey.